Lung and Respiratory Conditions
Many people have respiratory health issues. The Respiratory System is one of 12 systems in our body. It includes upper and lower respiratory tract (nose, larynx, trachea, and lungs.) Many people are not aware that the lungs are part of the body that is used for detoxification. There are many types of lung issues that people may have. Since Covid-19 affects the lungs, I thought I would explain how to go about keeping your lungs healthy, in general.
First, let’s discuss some lung issues.
- One of the most common respiratory problems is asthma. This can happen when your airways are inflamed and irritated, which makes them hypersensitive. Asthma can be caused by food allergies, environmental pollution, and/or emotional stress.
- Bronchitis is another respiratory problem. The suffix “-itis” means inflammation. So, Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi. Bronchi are your breathing tubes that go to the lungs. Smoking and air pollution may be causes of bronchitis. People with bronchitis may be susceptible to lung infections. Also, if you’re not getting enough oxygen and you have too much carbon dioxide in your blood, your skin may turn slightly blue.
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) used to be called emphysema. Smokers have a much higher risk of COPD than most. In this case, your bronchial tubes become blocked, so your lungs are obstructed. Slowly, you become unable to breathe in more air, and your blood oxygen levels decrease. Eventually, you will need medication and oxygen.
Healthy Lungs – Naturally
So, how do you keep your lungs healthy? Luckily, there are many ways. Of course, first of all, you should not smoke. But we can use nutrition, herbs, aromatherapy, and exercise, also. When we talk about food, you will notice that it sounds a lot like a normal “healthy” diet. Fiber. Complex Carbs. Whole grains. Essential fatty acids. Fruits, vegetables, and fish. Sound familiar? We tend to eat too much Omega-6 fatty acids which are inflammatory and not enough Omega-3 fatty acids. This is why so many people take Fish Oil, Krill Oil, etc. in order to get enough Omega-3 fatty acids. Some studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can prevent an asthmatic response. Chlorophyll is also good for cleansing the lungs. It helps purify the blood and helps carry oxygen through the body. You may want to try a daily shot of Wheatgrass juice. Some other items that are helpful for the lungs include: cayenne pepper, cloves, cumin, cardamom, ginger, garlic, onion, horseradish, lemon juice, olive oil, flaxseed oil, honey, and radishes. You can easily put these items in your kitchen.
If you have allergies, you may want to try Bee Pollen and/or Honey. It’s always better to get them locally sourced, if possible. Bromelain is helpful. It is an enzyme. If you don’t want to take it in pill form, you can eat pineapples, which are high in bromelain. Bromelain works even better when mixed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and quercetin. Antioxidants, in general, are always helpful, because they fight free radical damage. Quercetin is a flavonoid that blocks the release of histamine which reduces allergic reactions. If you don’t want to take a pill, you can find quercetin in red wine, green tea, buckwheat tea, apples, and berries. Selenium, zinc, and magnesium are also helpful. You might recall that zinc lozenges are typically taken for coughs to soothe the throat. Zinc also seems to play a role in Covid-19, along with vitamin D. Magnesium is a relaxant, that can open the bronchioles and relax the muscles inside the air tubes. This could be helpful in stopping an asthma attack.
Beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Co-Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, and glutathione can also be helpful. Antioxidants, in general, are helpful.
There are a plethora of herbs that are helpful to the lungs. You can try one or a few. There are products on the market specifically formulated for lung issues that combine a number of these herbs. Check your local health food store. Here is a partial list: garlic, mullein, Easter lilly, yerba santa, white pine, spuce, marshmallow root, lungwort, comfrey, licorice root, thyme, nettles, fenugreek, horseradish, ginger, cayenne pepper, gingko biloba, lobelia, slippery elm, wild cherry, skullcap, valerian, crampbark, and echinacea.
Breathing in certain essential oils can also help alleviate sinus and lung issues. Some essential oils to consider include: lavender, figwort, mullein, horehound, lungwort, thyme, hyssop, and eucalyptus. Put a few drops of the essential oils in a diffuser with water and breathe the steam. Not only can it help clear out your lungs and sinuses, it will make your room smell wonderful!
Breathing and Stress Management
Some lung issues could be caused by stress, fear, anxiety, etc. Stress may cause an inflammatory response. So, you will want to try to reduce your stress. How do you do that? Everyone is different, but one example is to do deep breathing exercises. Just sit or stand, get comfortable, and breathe deeply. There are many different techniques, but I like to breathe in through my nose (if possible) and out through my mouth. See how much air you can get into your lungs. Some people reduce stress by working out. And if you’re doing a cardio workout, you’re really working those lungs. You can try yoga, taichi, chi gong, stretching, etc. Some people have tried hypnosis. See what works for you.
Things to Avoid
There are certain foods that can cause inflammation and/or an allergic reaction. You want to avoid these. Typically, this list includes: dairy, eggs, wheat, corn, citrus fruits, and chocolate. As much as you can, try to avoid food coloring, preservatives and additives. The basic rule of thumb is to go fresh, natural and non-GMO. Sulfites are preservatives, and they are often used in alcohol, so you may want to avoid alcohol. You can try red wine for the flavonoids. MSG and salt should also be avoided. If you enjoy salt, try Himalayan salt or sea salt.
Lastly, we need to talk about detoxification. Everything works better if your system is clean. Think of running your car on old oil and a clogged up air filter. Natural Health people will tell you that “all disease begins in the gut.” The gut is where all your food gets processed and delivered to the rest of your body. If your gut is not functioning properly, the nutrients will not be getting to where they need to go. This will cause all of your 12 systems to start malfunctioning. There have been many people who have “cured” themselves of various health issues simply by doing a detox, getting the toxins out of your system, and allowing your body to work at peak efficiency. Personally, I can attest to the benefits of doing a detox. I try to do one 2-3 times a year. January is a great time, too! New Year’s “I’m going to finally get healthy” Resolution. I always suggest a detox to my clients.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. A few minor changes to your daily routine could make a world of difference to your health.
Ultimate Health & Wellness
*the information for this blog came from The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, by Gary Null